Anderson Silva: The Re-Launch

July 15, 2008

One of the key business goals of the upcoming Fight Night show, besides lowering Affliction PPV sales, is a relaunch of Anderson Silva. While their certainly haven’t been any qualms about Anderson’s work inside the octagon, there has been a less than stellar performance at the box office. Anderson has been an under-performer when you compare his PPV buy rates against those of the average UFC show, with Silva generally drawing in the 325k range as opposed to the normal show taking in anywhere from 400 to 425k. The UFC looks to be taking a two pronged approach in boosting Anderson’s appeal to their core audience.

The first phase of Anderson 2.0 will come with the free UFC Fight Night 14 card on Spike, set to oppose Affliction. This will be Anderson’s first appearance on free live television since his debut with the UFC vs Chris Leben at Ultimate Fight Night 5. Silva’s ascent in the UFC would be quick, capturing the middleweight title in has next fight, a demolition of Rich Franklin. Re-introducing Silva to the largest possible audience via free television would seem to be the right move, but there may be a disconnect for the average fan when it comes to Silva. His exploits up to this point should have garnered a much larger profile and drawing position in the UFC, but this hasn’t come to pass.

Phase 2 will come with a possible inclusion of Silva on the under card of the upcoming Chuck Liddell-Rashad Evans card in Atlanta. Most cards with Chuck headlining are going to do out-size PPV numbers, increasing PPV buys by 50% or more in most cases over the average. Placing Anderson Silva in the sub main for this card will expose him to a audience that for whatever reason tends to take a pass on purchasing events that he headlines.

Boosting Anderson’s appeal for PPV would go along way towards smoothing over the hard feelings between the two parties owing to the proposed Anderson Silva – Roy Jones Jr. boxing match-up. MMAPayout.com has heard reports that Silva was forced to walk away from a high seven-figure guarantee for a potential fight with Jones, a sum he will be hard pressed to match on the entirety of his new UFC contract unless he is able to significantly boost the level of buys for his PPV main events.

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